Golden Retriever Club of Scotland

Newsletter 2004 (produced 1/1/2005)

EDITORIAL – Happy New Year!

On behalf of the Officers and Committee of the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland, I should like to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! We thank those of you who supported our various events during the last year and look forward to your continuing participation in all things Golden.

In September, with the sudden death of Doreen McCormack, we lost one of our most loyal supporters. A talented breeder, Doreen appeared to have mastered the art of cloning well constructed Goldens. She did not pick her judges, nor did she have to – come what may, Doreen could be seen with a string of beautifully presented exhibits at our shows, and, more often than not, winning well. She will be sadly missed, but, hopefully, Sharon will find the strength to carry on where her Mum left off.

On a brighter note, I hope you will all find something to interest you in this January edition.

My grateful thanks to Sigridur Bilddal for her article on the Icelandic Golden scene. Interesting for anyone having problems with their dog’s behaviour, help is at hand in the form of Alison Powrie, (a great grand-daughter of Will Powrie, ‘the Angus Ploughman’, and a great niece of fiddle player, Ian Powrie), Scotland’s first and very own Dog Listener. She has written for us an illuminating article on human to canine communication by Amichien bonding.

Remember, your news and views are always welcome.

Enjoy your Goldens.

Cheers, Lesley

email: lesley@


GRCS ran a successful Open Show at Tweedie Hall, Linwood, on 2nd October, where the judge for the day was Miss Val Keill (Giogan). Val selected as Best in Show Dr. and Mrs Ramsay’s bitch, Gillbryan Penny Lane from Robbols, (Tonara Guy Fawkes J.W. x Gillbryan Pretty Penny). Best Dog and RBIS was Mandy MacDonald’s Neighan Night Sky Illusion of Lamancha. Best Puppy, Mr and Mrs Walker’s Siatham Yogi Bear of Carrickgold.

Best in Show Dr. and Mrs Ramsay’s bitch, Gillbryan Penny Lane from Robbols

Best Dog and RBIS Mandy MacDonald’s Neighan Night Sky Illusion of Lamancha

Best Puppy, Mr and Mrs Walker’s Siatham Yogi Bear of Carrickgold

This has been quite a year for Joan and Yogi as he also won BP at our June Open Show.

Best Bitch and Reserve Best Bitch

RBB Sharon McCormack’s Flyngalee Moonlight Shadow, handled by Jennifer MacDonald.

RBD was Pat Trotter’s Baricia Bobby Dazzler JW RBB Sharon McCormack’s Flyngalee Moonlight Shadow

Championship Show, Perth – April 9, 2005 There will be Eye Testing by Mr Tony Wall MRCVS at the above show – all welcome. Price: £18 per dog.< br> Remember to bring your Registration Certificates!
We have one new Scottish owned/bred J.W. winner, Mrs Mary Dimmock’s Denmarella Deck Of Cards – Congratulations!

Winning Members

The following members won C.C.s and R.C.C.s – if we have missed anyone out, we apologise in advance, it was certainly not intentional!






The Retriever Championship

For the first time in over ten years, a Golden Retriever has been in the awards at the I.G.L Retriever Championship, the most prestigious event of the Retriever field trial year, which was held recently by kind permission of The Earl and Countess of Leicester on their Norfolk estate at Holkham. 41 dogs ran, most of them Field Trial Champions, and all having qualified with a major win at an Open Stake. Abnalls Cleopatra, (pictured), a five year old bitch, by Catcombe Clever out of Standerwick Ricarda of Abnalls, owned and handled by Roy Burns, was awarded a Diploma of Merit.

This was a tremendous achievement in a sport now dominated by the super fast labradors. Long gone are the halcyon years of 1986 and ’87 when in both years, three of the four Goldens competing, featured in the awards. In the 1989 Championship, three of a team of five Golden qualifiers were in the awards. Roy with his wife Val own one of our top dual purpose kennels, with Val regularly winning top honours in the show ring. Top Scottish dog, in third place, was the black labrador, FT.CH.Denbank Cleo of Lochmuir, owned and handled by Tom Boyd, pictured on the back cover after winning the GRCS A.V. Open Stake, making him up on the day.

The last Scottish Golden to be placed in this blue riband event was Roy Taylor’s FT.CH. Palgrave Zilla of Ardyle, third in 1975. Roy has made up four of his Ardyle bitches to FT.CH. status and is the only Scot ever to have been placed on three occasions at the Retriever Championships.

On the Show side, it is encouraging that we now have the first two Scottish owned full Champions since CH Bethrob Bracken in 1985 - Helen Ferguson's SH.CH. Eyevalley Cannyman JW, and Irene and Linsey Dunbar's SH.CH. Linirgor Ever Hopeful JW SHCM both successfully completed their Show Gundog Working Certificates recently


Breed Stake 1.10.04 Fotheringham – l. to r. John Stewart, 2nd Lynn Stringer, Clancallum Fiddich, Tom Boyd, Philippa Williams, winner Peter Bates, Castlemans Classic Mood, Gordon Hay, C.O.M. Malcolm Stringer, Clancallum Tamdhu, Jennifer Hay.

GRCS had the first Field Trial of the 2004 season, the Breed Stake at Fotheringham Estate, Forfar, on Friday 1st October.

This Trial, as usual, was given by kind permission of Mr R.S. Fothringham and his Keeper Ian Duncan. The day’s shooting for the Trial was, as in previous years, generously provided by Ralph Ross and Roy Taylor and their team of guns.

The Judges on the day were John Stewart, Tom Boyd and Jennifer and Gordon Hay.

We had a full entry of qualified dogs including two dogs handled by Gunda Muehl from Raddestorf in Germany.


1st Peter Bates – CASTLEMANS CLASSIC MOOD owned by Philippa Williams
C.O.M. Malcolm Stringe – CLANCALLUM TAMDHU.

16 Dog A.V. Novice, Logiealmond 2.10.04 l. to r. Gordon Hay, Jennifer Hay, Lois Holmes, C.O.M. and Gun’s Choice Janice Logan, Digital Driver, Winner Dave Latham, Mediterian Blue, Alan Meldrum, C.O.M. Ian Hollern, Rowbay Larch of Brackenbird, Billy Steel.

The second GRCS Trial was a 16 Dog Novice A.V. Stake at Little Glenshee, Logiealmond, on Saturday 2nd October.

This trial is given by kind permission of Lord Mansfield and his Keeper Roddy Mackintosh. The day’s shooting was taken for the trial by Peter Holmes, Eion Robertson, and friends. The Trial was judged by Billy Steel Snr., Jennifer and Gordon Hay and Alan Meldrum. Little Glenshee is a beautiful trial ground in the heart of the Perthshire Hills and the good organisation by Roddy and the guns and the plentiful supply of game helped to bring the Trial to a clear and fair conclusion.


C.O.M. and Guns’ Choice Janice Logan DIGITAL DRIVER

Our third Trial was a 16 Dog Novice A.V. Stake at Dupplin estate, Perthshire, on Saturday 16th October.

This Trial is given by kind permission of Lord Forteviot, the Dupplin Shooting Syndicate and Raymond Holt, their Keeper. The Gunns, beating and game-carrying was well organized by Raymond. The Judges were Tom Boyd, Tom Leitch and George Greig.

A good supply of game on very testing ground gave us yet again an excellent Trial, but, unfortunately, only one award winner.



Our 12 Dog Open A.V. Stake was on Wednesday 3rd November, again, at Fotheringham, by kind permission of R.S. Fotheringham and Ian Duncan, with the day’s shooting once again generously provided by Ralph and his team of guns.

The Judges were David Brown, Gary Ford, Ian Tindall and Robert Fair.

The Trial began in a strip of woodland and onto a turnip field where there was such a plentiful supply of game in very testing conditions that the Trial was brought to a very quick conclusion. Joe Maclure, Tom Boyd and John Stewart had the remaining dogs in a run-off which resulted in Tom Boyd winning and making his dog up to a Field Trial Champion.



12 Dog AV Open 3.11.04 l. to r. 2nd Joe Maclure – Branxholme Susie of Silversnipe, 1st Tom Boyd – Denbank Cleo of Lochmuir, 3rd John Stewart – Glenpatrick Eclips of Craigenros. Judges Gary Ford, David Brown, Ian Tindall and Robert Fair.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of our GRCS Trials Season, especially the Keepers and Guns for providing us with such excellent well-organised days. Gratitude also to all subcommittee members who turned out to help me with these events.

Lois Holmes

The Eastern Counties Golden Retriever Club held a Show Gundog Working Day on Friday 17th December, at the Ampton Shoot, nr Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, by kind permission of Mr Peter Hammond and Guns. The judges were Mr M. Twist and Mr J. Gale.

The following members were successful in gaining the Certificate:

Helen Ferguson with SH.CH.Eyevalley Cannyman, giving him his full title,
Mandy McDonald with Moonlight Illusion at Lamancha,
Gill Hill with Bramhills Blake,
Sue Pounds-Longhurst with Mossburn Colonel Mustard,
Sue Pounds-Longhurst with Mossburn Bla Monj J.W. SHCM.
Irene and Linsey Dunbar’s SH.CH. Linirgor Ever Hopeful JW SHCM gained her SGWC at the GRCs SGWC Day on January 8 at Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.

Congratulations to all concerned


The GRCS web site, via the Breed Council web:, will soon have all the Scottish news and information on it, viewable under the following headings: WELCOME, AREA, OFFICERS, HISTORY, DIARY, INFORMATION, RESULTS, and NEWSLETTER.

If any member has information they would like to publish, please contact Peter Hamilton-Gray, preferably by email with a ‘Word’ attachment to: or telephone 01337 828654.

Dancing Golden Website

For those of you who missed, or would like to see again, Carolyn and her amazing dancing golden ‘Rookie’ performing their famous ‘Grease’ routine, here’s an expanded link, with background information on the pair:

It’s a big file and takes a few minutes to load, but well worth it.

Do You want To Take Your Pet Abroad?

In the last few years, it has become much easier to take dogs, and cats, abroad, either on holiday or for longer periods, to many countries where, hitherto it was at best, difficult and to some countries, nearly impossible - that is, if you ever want to bring them back into the UK without the dreaded six months quarantine.

A new European Regulation, 998/2003 was created and came into force on July 3rd 2004.

This Regulation sets out the health requirements for the movement of pet animals travelling between EU Countries and into the EU from other countries. ‘Group 1’ covers all EU Countries, ‘Group 2’ covers a number of designated countries outwith the EU where there are additional impediments to the PETS movement.

The UK comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For the purposes of these regulations, The Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland are treated as part of the UK.

The regulation, called “Pet Travel Scheme” (“PETS” in the UK) covers the requirements for the movement of all the following animals: pet dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils, rabbits and birds (except certain poultry). Animals covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is not affected by this new regulation.

From 3rd July 2004, changes to the existing regulations require that:
1. All dogs and cats must be Micro -Chipped and Vaccinated against Rabies and blood tested. Animals must be at least 3 months old before vaccination. There is a 6 month wait to enter or re-enter the UK from the date of a satisfactory blood sample.<
2. Tick and Tapeworm treatment must be carried out between 24 and 48 hours before being checked in to travel into the UK.
3. The travel must be via an approved route and recognised Transport Company.
4. The treatment must be undertaken by an authorised organisation (not by you!)
5. Those animals prepared in a non-EU listed country will require an Official Veterinary Certificate to cover the foregoing. br> 6. From July 2004, the Passport will enable these animals to enter the UK from EU and other countries in Group 2. The Passport will replace the previous “Export Health Certificate”.

From 3rd July 2004, animals prepared for PETS in the EU will require a “Pet Passport” for entry into the UK (this replaces the PETS Certificate, the tick and tapeworm treatment certificates and declaration of residence, all of which are included on the Passport).

To enter the UK without quarantine from a listed country, dogs and cats will still have to be micro-chipped, vaccinated against rabies and blood tested. The 6 month wait to enter the UK from the date of a satisfactory blood test will still apply, also the time requirements for tick and tapeworm treatment.

From the foregoing rather clinical information, the most salient fact is time. If you are going to take your pet abroad, you will need to start planning more than 6 months ahead in order to meet all the legislative timescales.

Here is an Action Plan

Step 1: micro-chip pet of at least 3 months old, make sure chip is readable and details of chip number and location entered in passport.

Step 2: vaccinate against rabies and have blood samples taken, ensure vet enters details and date in passport. Blood samples must go to an EU approved laboratory and satisfactory result entered in passport by a government approved vet.
N.B. passport will not become valid until 6 months after a satisfactory blood sample was taken.

Step 3: have pet treated for ticks and tapeworms 24-48 hours before check-in for return to UK by a registered vet.
N.B. travel must be by a recognised carrier.

There are less stringent rules when the pet will not be returning to the UK.

Passports are issued free by DEFRA to “Local Veterinary Inspectors”, or may be obtained from the following agencies:-
DEFRA Tel: 0870 241 1710,
Scottish Executive Environment & Rural Affairs Department, “DEERAD”
Email Tel: 0131 244 6182

DEFRA will send out the full pack of “European Community Information Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)”, on request.

This layman’s précis of DEFRA’s Regulations is intended as a helpful summary of the Law for those interested in taking their pets beyond our shores and should not be relied upon as a definitive legal interpretation of the regulations.

Peter Hamilton-Gray

John Bruce took 2nd place at the Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy in August, with his golden Brightfoot Kit.


Notice is hereby given that the AGM of the Club will be held at KAIM PARK HOTEL, EDINBURGH ROAD BATHGATE on Sunday 24th April 2005 at 2.30pm.

Any member wishing to put a resolution of any kind to the meeting must do so in writing to the Secretary by 28th March 2005. All resolutions must be duly seconded by current members.


Vacancies will occur as indicated below. Nominations should reach the Secretary by 28th March 2005, with the name of the Proposer and Seconder who must be current members. Proposers should ensure that they receive the consent of the nominee before submitting the name.

Retiring members who offer themselves for re-election do not require Proposers and Seconders.

Nominations are invited for the Offices of President, Chairman, and Vice Chairman.

President - Sir Robert Spencer Nairn offers himself for re election.
Chairman – David Murray offers himself for re election.
Vice Chairman - James Richardson offers himself for re election.

Seven vacancies will occur on the Executive Committee. Five will be by rotation.
Mrs H Avis, Miss L Dickson Mr G Graham, Mr P Hamilton -Gray and Mr G Mackenzie offer themselves for re election.

Those, other than existing Committee members, offering themselves for election are invited to include a short passage under the following headings:-
The number of years they have owned Goldens, the year they joined GRCS, the involvement they have had with other canine Clubs or Charities and the responsibilities they have had there and their main areas of interest in the Dog World. Membership of the Executive Committee will assume willingness to undertake any of the tasks involved in the administration of the Club.


ABEL PERPETUAL TROPHY (Show) 3 points for a 1st at a Championship Show (at least one of the Championship points being claimed must have been won in Scotland) 1 point for a 1st at an Open Show. Breed Classes only to count. The Shows must have taken place in 2004. Please provide details.

Doreen M McGugan, Secretary GRCS. Glenside Lodge By Culzean Ayrshire KA19 8JJ.
10th January 2005.


Annual subscriptions are due on the 1st January, so, if you haven’t already paid, this is the last communication you will receive from us. Many thanks to those who have paid, or who have a BO.

Subscriptions are as follows: Single £8, Joint £10, International £15, Junior £1


The list of prizes for our 2005 LOTTERY in aid of our Diamond Jubilee Event, keeps growing!

As well as the first prize of a two night break for two in a top level hotel in the beautiful Highland town of Pitlochry, with a visit to Pitlochry Festival Theatre, we now have, with the kind support of Sir Arnold Clark, a thrilling and invigorating cruise aboard the world famous 78 feet racing yacht Drum, formerly owned by Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran.

You will cruise the waters of the Firth of Clyde spotting dolphins and porpoises. Sail to the Cumbrae’s and anchor in Millport Bay for lunch, admire the splendour of the sea lochs, sail down to Rothesay, dock at Rothesay Pier and go ashore, motor through the Kyles of Bute to Tighnabruaich.

Other prizes include Diamond Edge thinning scissors, Dobbies Garden Centres gift vouchers, VIP passes to Dewar’s World of Whisky and various leading dog food prizes.

The draw will take place at our Championship Show in April and entries will be accepted on the enclosed form until the end of March 2005, but why delay, post today!

For any further information or additional entry forms, contact Marjorie on 01575 575 618.


The Icelandic Kennel Club was started on September 4th 1969. The Icelandic Kennel Club is a member of Nordisk Kennel Union, NKU and the international FCI and complies to their rules. Around 1970 the first labradors were seen in Iceland but only with exemption as working dogs in Customs. There was a law against importing dogs to Iceland until 1992, unless they were service dogs. Golden Retrievers were seen around 1980’s. Now we have 133 Golden Retrievers registered with the Kennel Club and about the same for labradors but 2 Flat Coated, 1 Chesapeake Bay and 2 Curly Coated retrivers.

In 1992 when the we were allowed to import dogs the Goldens came from Norway. Other imported dogs have come from Sweden, Danmark, Finland, Scotland, America and Mexico. Some of those dogs were bought as pets abroad and brought to Iceland when the family moved here others for showing and breeding.

The Icelandic Kennel Club has three shows a year, one championship show and two international shows. Golden retrievers were popular show dogs but there are not many shown now. This year 9 Goldens were shown in March and 7 in October. Our shows are compatible with the Nordic countries.

We have age groups for the dogs. Puppies are 4-6 months of age and 6-9 months. The puppies receive a ribbon and compete for places but cannot compete against older dogs. For the older dogs the age groups are 9- 15 months 15-24 months 2-7 years and 7 and over. There is also a champion group for those that have a championship title. The best bitch and male in both younger classes can get an honorary prize, purple ribbon, and go on to compete with the dogs in open class. The championship certificate is given to the best male and female in open and there is also a place for worthy champions, pink ribbon, for second to 4th place if the judge thinks the dogs have champion quality. Those with a CC and a pink ribbon compete for best bitch and best dog. The best male and bitch then go on to compete for the BOB. The retrievers are in group 8 along with cocker spaniels. The best in group goes to compete in best in show.

We do not have a show champion title in Iceland so all the retriever breeds will have to have a field trial test and pass to become champions along with having 3 CC. Than they get the title Icelandic champion. The dogs can earn the 3 CC at shows but not have the title until the field trial test is done. Dogs can earn CACIB at the international shows and need four for the International title and the field trial test.

The first field trials for retrievers were held in 1995.

The judges cames from the Nordic countries. We had our first Icelandic retriever judge in 1996. Now we have 4 Icelandic judges that are qualified to judge field trials for retrievers. Now, in the year 2004 we had 7 field - trial tests and for the first time since 1995 two Golden Retrievers took part. Before there had only been Labradors and a Chesapeake.

Kaila Bitch ICC BoB in June

The author with Rainscourt Miss Marple 3CCs

Islands – Nollar Illugi Kokkvi 3CCs 2 CACIB BoB October 2004.

Judge on left Tore Fossum, Norway. Student Judge from Sweden.

Breed Council

A meeting of the Breed Council was held at the Kennel Club on Tuesday 5th October 2004, and the following issues were discussed:

Health Matters

It was noted that Dr Mathew Binns had now left the AHT, but this would not affect our DNA project. Dr Cathryn Mellersh continues to be in charge of the project and she kindly sent an up to date report of the progress. Progress is good and the information showed that there had been a large number of donations of affected dogs with PRA from Sweden.

Canine Hip Dysplasia

Council were given a presentation by Dr Thanos Vratinus of Masterfoods, on a project that is currently underway, investigating the genes involved in Canine Hip Dysplasia. They wish to be able to detect predisposed dogs before they display any dysplastic symptoms and to suggest a care regime (diet and exercise) to best offset dysplasia. They are looking for DNA samples from older dogs who have never shown any sign of pain from dysplasia and young dogs who have shown pain. Anyone who is interested in helping with this project should approach the Secretary.


The company hosting our site have intimated that they may not wish to continue their facility as we are now almost too small. The contract has some time to run and Council and Mr Johnson will look into the problems this may give. Mr Johnson offered to help any clubs who had someone who might be interested and have the required specification of personal computer to have access to their pages in order that club information can be kept up to date.


Council expressed their interest in the forthcoming Working Party.


Berkshire Downs are progressing a meeting of rescue Coordinators of neighbouring clubs to try and cover the ‘black hole’ which is not covered by any of the local Clubs.

Judges Lists

The Breed Council’s Judges list was approved. A number of clubs had received letters from the KC advising that their criteria was not acceptable, which generated much debate. It was felt that the A3 list requirement of 500 dogs and 100 classes should stay. However, the numbers for the ‘B’ list criteria would be discussed at the next meeting. The Kennel Club had also stated that in some cases the criteria for clubs ‘C’ list was also too excessive.


Berkshire Downs brought to the attention of the meeting that the AHT were currently fund raising for a Linear Accelerator for the treatment of cancer. All clubs expressed their interest in helping. GRC of Scotland had recently given a large sum to the Glasgow Unit for Cancer.


Marjorie Houseman

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Marjorie some months ago. She was the recipient of our first successful Hearing Dog which the Club donated in the Golden Jubilee year 1996. Marjorie came along to our Championship Show with Barnaby for the official presentation and they stole everyone’s hearts. She came along with him to our dinner that night and the sight of a golden in the circle at the end joining in Auld Lang Syne was an image to behold. They stayed with us that week-end and took part in a film for Japanese Television showing how versatile the golden is. Marjorie joined GRCS and always kept in touch.

Barnaby’s career was plagued with illness and when he lost his sight Marjorie came up with the most wonderful comment “Well, he can hear and I can see, so together we’ll manage.” and they did!

Sadly Barnaby died not very long after and indeed that prompted us to repeat the gift to Hearing Dogs in 2006. After her deep devastation at this loss Marjorie got a new Hearing Dog (not a golden) and all seemed well again. I didn’t worry that I didn’t hear from her so much when the new dog arrived. She sent me a photo but it seemed natural to me that she would be more occupied with Hearing Dogs for whom she had raised thousands of pounds in her public relations work with Barnaby, and would inevitably lose touch with our Club. When her daughter phoned to tell me the awful news that she had been so ill and had died I was saddened at the loss of this remarkable lady. What a rich tapestry of people the dog world introduces to us and Marjorie certainly made her place in this.

Edna Fogg

Doreen McCormack

I was devastated to be phoned by Jim when I was abroad to tell me that Doreen McCormack had passed away. I know many of us were shocked at the sudden way in which Doreen was taken from her family.

Like many others I had been speaking to her at SKC a short time before when she was exhibiting her new pup that was winning so well. I have known Doreen for many years and she was one of the nicest people in the show world. Unassuming, quiet, and perhaps a little shy, no matter how much she and her daughter Sharon won. Doreen was quite willing to sit back and let her dogs do the ‘talking’ for her. In my conversations with her over the years I appreciated her quiet, dry sense of humour. Doreen and her daughter Sharon produced some lovely quality goldens under the Flyngalee Affix, winning CC’s and Res CC’s.

As we were leaving on the morning of the funeral for Ireland we were unable to attend the funeral but our thoughts were with her just the same. Jim and I are sure many others will wish to join us in extending heartfelt sympathy to Sharon, her brothers, and Doreen’s beautiful grandchildren of whom she was so proud and it was obvious she found much pleasure being with them. Our thoughts, and I am sure yours too, are with all the family.

When you look down on us all, Doreen, smile your quiet smile and know that what you achieved over the years is still carried on by Sharon, and the dogs you loved so much are still making their mark in the show ring and flying the flag for the Flyngalee Kennel you created.

Kate and Jim Crosbie

Bring your own Brandy

A report in a recent issue of the Guardian tells of the ending of at least 300 years of tradition, when the eighteen adult and sixteen St Bernard pups belonging to the monks of the hospice of St Bernard at the head of the pass on the border between Switzerland and Italy, are sold.

For some years now, these dogs which are known to have saved at least 2000 travellers, have been regarded as too big and clumsy for modern search and rescue work. They have been replaced by the much lighter and more agile golden retrievers and German shepherd dogs which can easily fit into helicopters en route to the avalanche.

Aware of their value as a tourist attraction, however, the monks are insisting that their new owners allow the St Bernards back to the hospice each summer.

Warning - if you are intending to ski off piste, or otherwise become an avalanche victim, remember to bring your own hip flask as the Golden who comes to dig you out will definitely not be wearing the traditional brandy barrel! Eric Fogg

Another Shaggy Dog Story

A guy is driving around and sees a sign in front of a house: “Talking Dog For Sale”.
He rings the bell, and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a Golden Retriever sitting there.
“You talk?” he asks.
“Yep,” the Golden replies.
“So, what’s your story?”
The Golden looks up and says, “Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young, and I wanted to help the Government; so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time at all, they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running.
But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I wanted to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.
I got married, had a mess of pups, and now I’m retired”.
The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.
“Ten dollars”.
The guy says, “This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?”.
“Because he’s a liar. He didn’t do any of that stuff”.


Price list as at Jan 2003 P&P

FLEECE £23 + £3
GILET £20 + £3
T-SHIRT £7.50 + £3
GRCS BADGE £3 + £1

Contact Mrs Carol Wilkinson, “Rossend”, Tulliallan Forest, Kincardine, Alloa FK10 4AX Tel : 01259 730427


There was a time, there really was, when I was young and tender;
When Show Dog meant a Disney Star, and BITCH was not a gender.
I went to bed at half past ten; I went to church on Sunday;
On Saturday I baked the cakes, and did the wash on Monday.
But then I got a certain pup, and an erstwhile friend said, “SHOW”
And so I did and so I do, OH! What I didn’t know.
I used to dress with flair and style, that was the life, don’t knock it.
But now each dress from bed to ball must have a good titbit pocket.
I used to have a certain air, I wallowed in perfume.
I used to smell of Nuit D’Amour, now I smell of loke Mr. Groom.
My furniture was haute décor, my pets a tank of guppies.
Now I’ve furniture that is unstuffed, and well adjusted puppies.
Once I spoke in pristine prose in dulcet tones and frail,
But now I am using language that would turn a sailor pale!.
I was taught to be well-groomed no matter where I went,
Now all the grooming that I do is in the handler’s tent.
I used to long for furs and jewels and a figure classed as super,
Now the thing I yearn for most is a nice new Pooper-Scooper.
I adored a man who murmured verse through intimate little dinners,
But now the words I thrill to hear, are just three –“Best of Winners”.
I rise at dawn and pack the car the road ahead’s a long one,
The one I routed on the maps invariably’s the wrong one.
I really love this doggy life, I wouldn’t care to change it
But when I get that Best In Show, I plan to rearrange it.
And when my time on earth is done, I’ll go without much nudging
Just give me three weeks closing date and let me know who’s judging!


Many of you reading this may have heard about ‘The Horse Whisperer’ but how many of you know about ‘Scotland’s Dog Listener’? I (Alison Powrie) am Scotland’s Dog Listener and my work involves helping to resolve problem behaviour in our canine companions using a technique known as ‘Amichien Bonding’. Amichien Bonding is the name Jan Fennell (author of international best selling titles ‘The Dog Listener’ and ‘The Practical Dog Listener’) chose to call her unique method of communicating with the canine. This is a holistic approach to dog behaviour and training where kindness and cooperation are paramount. Amichien Bonding is a method of working and living with our dogs to help them find their place within our pack and to encourage them to elect us as the pack leaders in order to overcome and prevent many problem behaviours. I have been lucky enough to have worked with Jan and her son Tony Knight for over three years helping many desperate dog owners to understand their dogs and change their problem behaviour for the better.

Just like their ancestors the wolves, dogs are highly sensitive and incredibly intelligent creatures and they rely solely on instinct. From the day dogs are born, they instinctively know that they are pack animals, therefore, need leadership. In the past we have mistakenly assumed that because we are the owners, we automatically become the leaders of the pack. Dogs don’t see it this way, it is far more complex than that! They rely on a social hierarchy to help govern who will be the leader. If they don’t see leadership qualities in us (the owners) many dogs will take on this role and this is where the problems start.

Dogs are living in a world they don’t understand; they have no concept of human things like motor cars, washing machines, fireworks, skateboards, doorbells, and the postman! However, a dog that feels it is the leader will try and do this job (of leading the pack) to the best of its ability no matter how many times it fails. A dog that thinks it is the leader will try to make decisions about things it doesn’t understand causing it to become over stressed and display all number of problem behaviours.

In all the time I have been working with dogs I have come into contact with many different breeds with many different problem behaviours; from dogs that would bark hysterically at the postman to dogs that had chewed and destroyed furniture when their owners had left them on their own. However, the one thing that each of these dogs (large and small) had in common was the fact that they all felt they had to be leader of their pack.

Let me explain. When a dog barks at the postman, what it sees is a threat approaching the pack and as the leader they feel it is their job to warn the potential threat to ‘stay away’! When the postman continues to approach, some dogs at this point would feel they had no choice but to nip as a stronger warning to the postman. Many people in this situation would see this as a ‘bad dog’, however, if we actually view it from the dog’s perspective it makes things a little clearer to understand. By taking the role of leadership away from a dog like this, you are helping them to realise that they don’t have to protect us from these ‘threats’ and they can in turn become more relaxed and less stressed. Amichien Bonding can help with a great number of behavioral problems including pulling on the lead, aggression to other dogs or people, jumping up at people and nervousness. However, your dog doesn’t have to be displaying problem behaviour to gain benefits from applying Amichien Bonding. Many people who take on a new puppy have called me out to help them make sure that they give their puppy the right information from the start enabling them to prevent problems from occurring in the future.

Whenever anybody new to this process contacts me, I will always suggest that they initially read through Jan’s first book (The Dog Listener) to help them begin to see the world through their dogs’ eyes. By implementing the four core areas of Amichien Bonding (Feeding, The Walk, Perceived Danger and Separation) as set out in the book, many people are able to overcome their dog’s problems all by themselves and from the comfort of their own home.

However, other problems take a little more work and this is when I would suggest a home consultation. The reason I visit a dog in its own home is because this is where the dog (and the owners) feel most relaxed and comfortable and will therefore be behaving most naturally. Firstly I would explain to the owners, why their dog has been behaving in such a way. Once they understand and recognize this, I would then offer them a program of help and advice, using specific techniques which they would need to implement on a daily basis, to help the dog elect the owners as the pack leaders. After the consultation I offer a phone in back up service, giving the owners that constant support as they progress with their dog.

Closer to home it is thanks to Jan Fennell and her methods that I still have my pack of three dogs today! When I was younger, my family and I had previously owned a Golden Retriever cross Collie we named Ben. When Ben passed away, we waited until the time was right to have another dog and then rehomed a rescue dog from an animal shelter. We named him Harvey and he was a German Shepherd crossed with a Whippet. Two weeks later(having already decided to have two dogs together), my second dog Murphy came along as an eleven week old, German Shepherd cross Lab pup. It wasn’t until six months down the road that the problems started when my heart ruled my head and I brought home Butch, a six month old, pedigree Golden Retriever. Having been quite happy living as a twosome for the past six months, Murphy and Harvey decided they didn’t need a third pack member and made that quite clear to Butch!! Despite trying to do the right thing and introduce him to the family over a period of three or four weekends, things didn’t go according to plan and turned pretty bleak. We experienced at least three or four fights a day and whenever we were all sitting together in the living room there would be an air of tension just waiting for the next fight to start up!! We were in an absolutely desperate situation.

It was then that I stumbled across Jan Fennell’s book ‘The Dog Listener’ and devoured it from cover to cover. Everything inside it made complete sense, my pack were unsure who the leader was and so my three dogs thought they each had the potential to be the leader and were therefore fighting it out to see who would be ‘’Alpha’!! By implementing the Amichien Bonding method set out in Jan’s book, over a period of time, I was able to regain harmony to the household once again.

Having been able to help my own dogs I felt I would like to help others who were also experiencing problems with their dogs and this is how I came to work with Jan and Tony. Having trained with both of them and learning their individual approaches to Amichien Bonding, I started out doing home consultations all across the UK. During the three years I was part of Jan’s ‘Amichien Dog Listeners’ team, my visits took me from Essex to Aviemore and I had twenty home consultations in Scotland. This suited me perfectly as most of family lives in Perthshire so I was able to visit them while I was North of the border! Last year my partner Mike and I had an opportunity to move to Scotland so we jumped at the chance and this is how I came to be working up here as ‘Scotland’s Dog Listener’.

We moved up to Redford in Angus back in May last year and since then have attended many agricultural shows to spread the word further. These proved a great success and this is something I will definitely be continuing with this year!

Being Scotland’s Dog Listener is certainly a far cry from my previous ‘career’ as a trainee accountant! I have always wanted to have job satisfaction and doing this work gives me this by the bucketful!!

Anyone interested in finding out more can either visit my website at or contact me on 01241 860582 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm) and I will be more than happy to help. I also have a small stock of Jan’s books should anyone be interested to learn more about how to become the leader of their pack!

Harvey the sun worshipper!
Alison and Murphy fooling around!
Butch and his favourite tennis ball.

RESCUE and WELFARE by Edna and Eric Fogg

I’m writing this ten days before Christmas and so far this year we have dealt with 52 dogs with one young bitch staying in her present home until after the New Year. Christmas is not the ideal time to have a new dog arriving in a new home, whether a puppy or an older one. Only 10 of the 52 were bitches and that is about the usual ratio.

Last August/September we were contacted about thirteen goldens almost all of whom were difficult or, to be more accurate, had difficult owners. As everyone with any experience of rescue knows, we don’t get many difficult DOGS, but OWNERS - come to think of it, with different owners we would have hardly any rescues at all. I thought I was too old for this and enough was enough but we went on a week’s holiday at the beginning of October and everything calmed down to a manageable pace and indeed, we have had the quietest November/December ever.

In amongst all this, the club has managed to raise about £4,000 towards our Diamond Jubilee gift of another Hearing Dog. Hearing Dogs agreed that £2,500 should go towards the cost of training a dog and £1,500 towards the cost of building a training centre in Scotland. At the moment they have centres in Oxford and Selby.They also asked if we could find one, or preferably two, young goldens who could be trained as people on their waiting lists had specifically requested a golden. No sooner was this arranged when, yes you’ve guessed, two ten year olds and an eleven year old were successfully rehomed. The family who took one of the ten year olds already owned a thirteen year old. We had a glorious image of this wonderful home where elderly goldens sit around the fire with their zimmers! I phoned to ask how he was doing a few days later and she said “He’s a wee angel that’s come to live with us for a wee while.” Added to this there were a couple of six year olds and one of nine. Just when I wondered if there would ever be a golden to present formally in 2006, a year old dog turned up and was quickly followed by an eight month old bitch. The dog has now gone to Oxford and has started a week’s training before breaking off for his Christmas holidays, socialising with a family. They reckon he won’t need very long on this part as he was so very well socialised in his previous home. The little bitch, as long as all goes well when she is seen by the Hearing Dogs Assessor, will go in mid January to start her training. She is from working stock, so with luck, her brains will make her training easy! Please cross all fingers that these puppies make the grade. I’ll keep you up to date on their progress.

Perhaps you would like a story of one of our rescues which sticks firmly in my mind. Arnie was rehomed by us about four or five years ago. The lady who took him was unable to keep him for more than a week as he was too strong for her. This is something we hate to have happen as it is in the dog’s best interest not to have to keep changing homes. He then went to an ex-soldier who taught him to walk on a lead to heel almost in one afternoon. This man had a real flair for handling a dog and life in this family seemed perfect. A few months later a series of domestic crises hit this family, culminating with the owner having a heart attack and Arnie was on the lookout for a new home again, and again, it was an emergency. He then went to someone who had already taken a bitch from us and as Arnie was castrated, they made a companionable pair.All was well for just about two years when this owner took seriously ill and both dogs needed new homes. As they hadn’t been together too long, it was easier to separate them. Arnie, through no fault of his own, seemed to be permanently on the move. For over a year now he has lived with a couple who adore him and he them. I get lovely newsy letters every now and then telling me how wonderful he is. I find it interesting that this dog has been able to take these many varied homes completely in his stride. Presumably, the important feature in every case was that no-one had ever treated him with anything but kindness and so he is able to adjust very much more quickly than a dog with all manner of doubts and hang-ups caused by being in a less understanding home.

A huge ‘thank-you’ from our club to everyone who has helped in any way during 2004.

Let’s hope that all the club’s advertising to circumvent the puppy farmers pays off and 2005 might find us with fewer goldens needing rehousing.

Sunglasses for Dogs: functional or fashion accessory?

Two goldens were among the first dogs in Scotland to try Doggles Hot Rods - sunglasses with 100 per cent UV protection, especially for dogs. Having taken the US by storm, the Doggles, which are held on with adjustable chinstraps, are now being imported to the UK by Livingstone-based company Pet Planet. Some people might dismiss the idea as barking mad, but although the Scottish sun is often hard to spot, the glasses have other uses too. As well as 100 per cent UV protection, side air vents and a flexible frame, the Doggles have anti-fog protection and keep out dust and debris, thorns and flies.

A spokesperson for Pet Planet said our pets’ eyes are just as susceptible to damage from the sun as ours and they claim that, as well as being a slick fashion statement, Doggles have also been recommended by Vets. “The Doggles can protect the eyes following treatment or surgery, and allow dogs who suffer common eye disorders to lead a normal life. A lot of people who use hunting dogs are requesting them, as are people who like to take their dogs sailing or even out in the car, as the sun can reflect strongly from water or windows”.

Guaranteed to put every other pooch in the park in the shade, the glasses cost £29.99 and are available from

Sign spotted in a Pet shop window . . .


A seemingly over-the-top scheme to trace your Gran if she goes out for a pint of milk and spends too long outside the co-op chatting to neighbours.


On 1st January 2005, a new scheme called the RCVS PRACTICE STANDARDS SCHEME, was launched, to establish a quality assurance framework to promote and maintain the highest standard of veterinary care, and to make more information available about veterinary practices, and so give clients greater choice.


Every accredited practice has volunteered to undergo rigorous inspection by a qualified inspector every four years.

Between inspections, it must certify annually that it continues to meet the necessary standards, and for further monitoring of standards, it may also be subject to spot checks.

* Must put in place arrangements to provide 24 hour emergency cover for patients. This might be done by the practice itself, or through arrangements with another practice or emergency provider;
* Must make clients aware of arrangements for checking and monitoring of patients kept in overnight;
* Must have a system for monitoring the outcome of treatments;
* Must show ongoing commitment to education and training of staff;
* Must keep premises clean and well maintained;
* Must have a policy for communicating with clients and looking at feedback;
* Must ensure clients are given estimates of the costs or treatments and consent to procedures undertaken;
* Have access to laboratory facilities for diagnostic testing;
* Meet legal and health and safety requirements covering its premises, equipment, clients and employees.


If this is a chore both you and your dog hates, look up Washington State University's web site where they give an excellent explanation, illustrated with clear photos, of how best to tackle the task, along with equipment to use.
The address is


It has been brought to the Editor's attention that Lifelong Pet Insurance, run by Pinnacle Pet Healthcare Ltd., has the following disclaimer on their policies: "We will not cover any claims in relation to hip dysplasia or hip lameness unless the hip score of your dog or both its parents is at least three points below the BVA/KCHD scheme breed score, valid at the time of your dog's date of birth."

Is this the shape of things to come? Will other companies follow suit?

This is a policy handed out by veterinary surgeons at the time of vaccination - needless to say, it's not the cheapest on the market!

Their web site is

Certainly food for thought

Beware adders!

In mid-0ctober last year, I felt a lump on Cassie's shoulder, but thought it was the way she was laying. On closer inspection the next morning, we looked in about her skin and discovered not one, but two sets of fang marks, and lots of what you would describe as pouches on her skin. The vet. told us it was adder bites and gave us the appropriate antibiotic tablets. A month later, there was one fang hole, which would not heal, in fact it seemed the flesh was rotting away. The vet. did a biopsy for the lab. And she had been left with a bacterial infection, which has since healed with the correct treatment.

All this while she was mothering a litter of puppies as well.

She is constantly rolling on her back in the woods, obviously she had lain on an adder, but the worrying thing is, I have read that with Global warming, snakes are on the increase in Scotland.

Please be careful.

Isabel MacKenzie